Unofficial Guide to a Republican Convention

I don’t know about you, but I’m experiencing political fatigue.

I’m amazed at how many of my sane, normally enjoyable, intelligent friends get so wrapped up in this election. Calling people names. Snide remarks about the candidates. Smug assertions of their own superiority.

As I see it, political conventions bring out some of the nastiest human tendencies–hubris, pettiness, vindictiveness–and brings them to a national stage. Mine included.

And this high level of emotional negativity is draining.

Yes, I believe it’s important to be politically involved. Yes, I am civically engaged. But c’mon. Democrats aren’t the anti-christ. And neither are Republicans.

Apparently I’m far more “moderate” than I ever thought I was! :0

Ironically, this morning I came across a copy of my “Unofficial Guide to the Maine Republican State Convention” from 2004.

I did my American duty and went. The technical process of politics was b-o-r-i-n-g. The level of groupthink was astonishing. And the intense seriousness that people brought to the convention was incredible.

The “Unofficial Guide” was my Gen-X nerdy way of trying to process the event. It’s a slightly irreverent six pages. My favorite portion is the section on Roberts Rules. I end the piece with “6 Ways to Make Your First Convention More Fun.”

I hope your experience reading it is as fun as mine was writing it! Click here for a PDF of my unofficial guide to the Maine State Republican Convention.

Republican Caucus


Today was the Republican Caucus in Maine.

I did it because I believe democracy is a privilege and I don’t want to take it for granted.

I wanted to avoid it because pastors that primarily define themselves in terms of their politics are people I generally try to avoid.

But today’s caucus was delightfully painless. Over 50 people turned out. That’s huge for Waterville. The caucus people remembered was four years ago with maybe 30 people attending. So more than 50 was wonderful.

And the entire thing was over in 45 minutes!

Ron Paul won with John McCain and Mitt Romney in a tie for second. (Guliani even got a vote! C’mon!!)

More importantly, Emily and I weren’t nominated for any positions! Yay!

I got all the joy of being civic-ly engaged, without any of the “buyers remorse” of being obligated to more volunteer positions.

A good time all around.